Pilot Grove scored 21 first-quarter points to lead by eight, but the Greyhounds cut into the deficit through the next two periods and trailed by only three points heading into the final frame.
Freshman Mason Schlotzhauer hit a pair of buckets early in the period and the Tigers were able to make enough free throws, nine out of 18 attempts, to stay in front.
Schlotzhauer finished with 18 points and junior Colton Glenn added 16 for Pilot Grove (9-2).
Junior Jacob Schowengerdt had a game-high 23 points and senior Matt Harris chipped in with 14 for Sweet Springs (7-3), which lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. The 'Hounds will begin I-70 Conference play Tuesday at Wellington-Napoleon.
HIGGINSVILLE -- After scoring a season-low 30 points the night before, Santa Fe head coach Travis Zahl shook up his team for Friday's seventh-place game in the Lafayette County Tournament at Higginsville.
The Chiefs trotted out an all-new starting five, which seemed to spark the incumbents when they hit the floor -- claiming a 54-49 victory over Concordia.
Tied at halftime, Santa Fe surged 16-8 during the third period as senior Chad Tieman hit four shots and senior Andrew Curry buried a pair of three-pointers. The Chiefs struggled at the free-throw line trying to close out the win, making only two of nine tries, but were able to hold on.
Junior Cass Heimsoth had 22 points for the Orioles (5-8).
Curry produced 22 points and Tieman 15 for Santa Fe (8-5), which goes to Sweet Springs on Friday for its first I-70 Conference action.
NEW FRANKLIN -- The Sweet Springs girls didn't have enough punch at the end of their third place game Saturday in the New Franklin Tournament to hold off Tipton during a 35-33 loss.
The Lady Greyhounds squandered their chances at the free-throw line during the first half, missing eight of 11 attempts, and only got two opportunities during the fourth-quarter -- which they entered with a one-point lead.
The Lady Cardinals got to the stripe seven times down the stretch, missing the front end of three one-and-ones, but senior Loryn Hirst made three of four during one stretch to keep them in front.
Hirst led all scorers with 15 points for Tipton (4-4).
Sophomores twins Nicole and Ashleigh Bright each tallied 11 points for Sweet Springs (7-3), which had two starters foul out. The Lady 'Hounds will play at Wellington to start their I-70 Conference campaign Tuesday.
OTTERVILLE -- Free throws were also crucial to Otterville's 33-24 decision over Slater in Saturday's third-place game of the Otterville Holiday Classic.
That's because field goals were hard to come by, neither team making more than a third of their attempts. However, the Lady Eagles sank 12 of 22 from the stripe -- including eight of 14 during the final period -- while the Purple were but four of nine.
Junior Stephanie Oswald scored 16 points to pace Otterville (6-4).
The Lady Wildcats (7-7) got eight points and seven rebounds from junior Mary Anne Boston. Slater will return to Lewis and Clark Conference play on its home court Tuesday against Fayette.
HIGGINSVILLE -- Santa Fe took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter Friday and was able to eke out a 43-42 victory over Knob Noster for the Lafayette County Tournament consolation trophy.
The Lady Chiefs came back from an early 12-6 deficit with a 28-16 stretch during the middle frames behind 11 points from freshman Kylie Limback. Sophomore Holly Chabotte and senior Amanda Byers combined for eight points down the stretch for the Lady Panthers, but it wasn't enough.
Senior Kelsey Beasley had 12 points to top Knob Noster (2-7).
Limback finished with 15 points, with sophomore Lexi Smith and senior Brandy Beasley splitting 16 between them, for Santa Fe (8-5). The Lady Chiefs begin their I-70 Conference schedule Friday at Sweet Springs.